The AKA urges kratom advocates to contact their Senators today to oppose the SITSA Act (Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act). The act, designed to limit dangerous synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, would also give the Attorney General the power to ban natural botanicals such as kratom.
From the AKA:
On Friday, we asked kratom supporters to email their Senators to ask them to oppose the SITSA provisions in the House version of H.R 6.
You responded with over 13,000 emails to Capitol Hill.
Now we need to keep up the pressure!
Fill out the form contained within this email and press the “Call Your Senators” button
When prompted, please enter your phone number and the system will call you and connect you with your Senator.
When connected, please let them know that you are opposed to the SITSA Bill and that the U.S. Senate must hold hearings and consider needed amendments to ensure a host of unintended and potentially harmful provisions are not part of a final opioid bill. We have provided several talking points for reference during the call. As always, please be polite and respectful.
Repeat the process to ensure that you contact both of your Senators.
Thank you for your willingness to help in the fight to protect kratom!
Identify yourself as a constituent of your Senator and tell them the city where you live (the staff may ask for your zip code)
Explain to the staff that you are calling to let the Senator know that you are opposed to SITSA Bill (Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act) because, without an amendment excluding kratom, SITSA will give the Attorney General unfettered power to ban kratom without having to rely on any science.
Tell the staff the House is demanding SITSA be put back into H.R. 6 that was passed by the Senate without any Senate Hearing or input. Tell them you are strongly opposed to that demand from the House.
Tell the staffer that kratom has helped you (or someone you know) improve their overall health and well-being
Ask them to go to www.americankratom.org for more information.
Thank the staffer and the Senator for their service.
SITSA was part of the massive HR-6, which passed with a large majority in both the House in June and 99-1 by the Senate last week. According to a post on the AKA’s forum by the forum administrator itzatwist, “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte is demanding the U.S. Senate put SITSA back into the Senate Substitute H.R. 6, that passed on a vote of 99-1 in the U.S. Senate. Chairman Goodlatte is reportedly holding final passage of the opioid bill hostage UNLESS the Senate is willing to add the provisions of the SITSA bill back into H.R. 6 as it was passed by the House.”
For more on how SITSA could lead to a kratom ban, see the 6/28/18 Vice article “This Bill Could Give Jeff Sessions the Power to Ban Kratom”
But SITSA would also give unilateral drug “scheduling” powers to the Attorney General’s office, allowing the Department of Justice to outlaw substances and set penalties without oversight.
“The typical process, where there is scientific and public health input when deciding whether a drug should be scheduled or not, will be completely eroded,” says Michael Collins, deputy director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Non-scientific people like the DEA will be making the decisions.”
Under the Controlled Substances Act, a hierarchical system put in place by the Nixon Administration in 1970, there are five brackets for drugs based on their potential for abuse. Schedule I, which covers the most “dangerous” drugs with no accepted medical benefits, includes LSD and marijuana. SITSA would create a sixth group, “Schedule A,” which stamps a temporary ban up to five years—which isn’t “subject to judicial review”—on any molecule that’s chemically similar to a drug that’s already banned and that the DOJ fears is even slightly psychoactive.
Any compound that merely resembles a banned drug and has “an actual or predicted stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system” similar to a banned drug can be placed into the new Schedule A at AG Jeff Sessions’s discretion, which has many worried that SITSA could lead to a ban on substances like kava and, of course, kratom.